Differences between PAP’s and WP’s handling of MP’s extramarital affairs speaks volumes

I am of the personal view that there is no need for a MP to resign because of extramarital affairs, as long as the affair did not unduly enrich either party in the relationship, or adversely affected the MP’s ability to do his job. I do not see the need for MPs to be squeaky clean. MPs are ultimately human, and all that matters to me is that he does his job properly. Yes, he may not be the best example to your kids, but that isn’t really what we appoint a politician for anyway. A politician should be appointed to make our lives better.

By this standard, neither Yaw Shin Leong nor Michael Palmer should be required to resign because of a extramarital affair alone. (This assumes Palmer did not breach the conditions I’ve mentioned, which should be investigated). But YSL ultimately deserved to get fired because of the way he reacted to the allegations of an affair. By leaving the country and failing to respond properly to the accusations, he has proven that he is ultimately an untrustworthy man who refuses to be held accountable to his actions. This is especially fatal when the WP campaigned on a platform of transparency and accountability in GE2011.

Nevertheless, Singapore is still a somewhat conservative society. Having a MP with a known history of an affair is still too embarrassing for the political party. Until the day society changes its collective mindset, a MP having an affair would be political suicide.

The PAP’s and WP’s handling of these affairs also speaks volumes. PAP had decisively reacted to Palmer’s disclosure within 4 days (which included the handover of MP duties to other PAP members). In contrast, WP denied all allegations, refused to state publicly that they were investigating the matter, and only fired YSL after a couple of weeks had passed. This speaks volumes about either party’s leadership strength and decisiveness, and only demonstrates that the PAP is still suited at making the tough decisions when running the country compared to the WP, at least for now.

A by-election of Punggol East SMC is probably on the cards. Let’s hope the same disappointing mistakes made in the Hougang by-election do not repeat themselves. Such events make for good entertainment. but we really do not need our politicians to make clowns of themselves.

In the meantime, it will be interesting to watch the comments by the alternative media and netizens. I bet there are a whole bunch of hypocritical anti-establishment clowns who defended YSL during his saga but are now bashing PAP for the same sin.


About sgthinker

I'm a 40-year old Singaporean male, and this blog pens down my thoughts and feelings about Singapore's political happenings, government policies and society trends. I hope this blog will provide a moderate voice in the growing online debate about the state of Singapore's society. Some of the posts here won't be solely written by me, since there will be times when other writers are more eloquent at expressing their views, in which case I'll share their insights (along with my comments). The content on this blog is owned by me.If you wish to share or reproduce the content, please attribute it to this blog.
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16 Responses to Differences between PAP’s and WP’s handling of MP’s extramarital affairs speaks volumes

  1. The says:

    Why wasn’t Palmer expelled from the PAP? Why allow him the luxury to resign? So far, no PAP members have been expelled for wrong doings – and there were quite a few of them found wanting.

  2. E Y says:

    Like you, i think there was no need for michael or shin leong to resign. I just think that Singapore is a very scary place right now. Because it has become a place where you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I don’t think Laura need to have been named. Yet, given the many busybodies we have, it will be just a matter of time before it is found out. Are we heading towards a paparazi culture?

  3. sgthinker says:

    Conspiracy theorists everywhere. I agree that there should be some investigation (and I already said this in my 2nd para).

    But for all the people who believe that this a wayang, I have a question: “What would convince you that it wasn’t a wayang?” Because if nothing can convince you, I think that goes to show how bigoted you really are.

    • dude says:

      convene COI loh! PM to announce findings on live tv..
      when i see what PM say from his own mouth, i believe..

      dont be mistaken, most ppl are not against pappies per se. if they show genuine change, they will definitely earn the support of the ppl back. why are there more conspiracy theories creeping up now than during the days of the old guards (1st gen leaders)?? obviously something is not kosher and ppl can read the vibes from body language. somethings dont have to be said explicitly.. wayang or not, sincere or not, ppl can feel it.

      at the end of the day, its not what palmer did or how or how long they react that irks ppl… its the “holier than thou” “i know best” attitude, all the media spinning and framing to try to earn political brownies out of every situation and all the pot shots aimed at others that irks most ppl… dont have to make a meal out of every little thing… if it means nothing, it means nothing… let the fire burn big, take the damage head on until it dies off naturally… that is what everybody else does…

      be humble. be sincere. call a spade a spade. stop treating your audience like idiots and stop all the spinning and ppl will give you the respect you deserve.

      whatever man does, heaven sees.

  4. sporescores says:

    ‘sgthinker’, your decision to skew the comparison in this biased manner speaks volumes about your values and character as a person. For a more balanced commentary, see http://singaporemind.blogspot.sg/2012/12/another-scandal-michael-palmer-resigns.html

  5. AT says:

    Though I would like to give PAP the benefit of the doubt, it looks too well coordinated to believe they were swift in their actions. In any case, there was a lot of bad press about how WP handled the affair and of course PAP will not follow the same route, since they already had an example not to follow. Do you seriously think they will ask for 1-2 weeks time to investigate and get to the bottom of things? Of course not. Thus the swift and sudden announcement to Palmer’s resignation because everything’s already sorted out and planned even before the press conference. I’m also sure the press already had inkling of the affair, and were made not to mention anything at all. Singaporeans are not that naive, and many think PAP was already pulling the strings way before this sudden resignation.

  6. George says:

    Consider the fact that the other half of the ‘scandal’, a certain Laura Ong has ALREADY resigned when the PA was asked for her details and even her colleagues were under the impression she was on leave? It has to be coordinated.

    Surely you are not ignorant or uninitiated about the style of the PAP in handling bad publicity? Look, the MSM is in its pocket and as the others here has pointed out, look at the quick even ‘surgical’ manner it was carried. It’s all tightly stage managed. First, TCH spoke and than he was very quickly ‘backup’ by LHL, in double quick time. You would note that in bad news and publicity like that, the top dog almost NEVER take the point, it is left to his underling in this case, TCH to break the news.

    The speed at which Palmer apparently cut all ties with the PAP, submit his resignation to parliament and got someone to take over his duties at the his constituencies are says loudly and clearly of an embargo. No reason to believe they have not seen to it that everything has been prepared before the news was announced.

    The ONE BIG question why Palmer has ‘volunteered’ to expose himself remains. Was it his conscience? Not very likely. A squealer/whistleblower? Could it be someone from the party who has got winds of his pilandering? A grassroot leader, Laura’s boyfriend/ex-boyfriend or maybe even his own wife who has found out somehow.

    I think everyone should focus on this for greater ‘INSIGHT’ into the affair.LOL

  7. dude says:

    I also bet there are a whole bunch of hypocritical pro-establishment clowns who bashed YSL during his saga but are now defending PAP for the same sin.

  8. dude says:

    timing of 1week VS 2 days or whatever doesn’t mean anything lahh… pls… wanna spin also spin with intelligence… do you really REALLY believe they only knew abt it on SAT and 2 days to make a decision, including initiating investigations, concluding investigations, discussions, analyse implications and finally decision, then setup press conference and statement etc etc etc.. all in, 2 days… please lahhh… dun live in your own world.. SAT probably the day they OFFICIALLY knew abt it. (now that is some spinning for you there)…

  9. John says:

    You are wrong. I prefer the WP’s way of handling because it gives time for the investigation and the accused to reflect and admit the wrongdoing. YSL left the country because he was hounded by the balls-carrying press.
    PAP’ s way is cold and clinical, like what they did with the PRC’s bus drivers, without any human
    feeling, A quick damage control exercise,more likely to maintain the brand name than anything else

    • sgthinker says:

      Your response ignores the fact that the two cases have different beginnings. YSL’s affairs began as allegations from external parties, so he was obligated to respond.

      Whereas (according to press) Michael Palmer voluntarily owned up and voluntarily resigned. PAP did not have to “coldly” fire him. Of course this may not be the entire truth if the matter is further investigated (e.g. he could have been blackmailed).

      • Davey says:


        sgthinker, even ST’s website above and TNP subtly hinted Palmer did not “own up voluntarily”. Alas, due to main media spinning, the misled impression had been successful to give majority (like urself, i guess, from your above reply), that he owned up voluntarily.
        For the record, I’m not for witch-hunting sexual misconduct, I’m against charging the 50+ “sexual offenders”. I’m just a believer of political karma, and tit-for-tat politics…

  10. lovemycountry says:

    You are obviously a papaya cock sucker. In the case of YSL the WP did not deny the allegations, they merely need to complete their own internal investigation before making official statements and there is nothing wrong with that. In the case of Micheal Palmer it is obvious that it was kept under wraps from the public for a long time while PAP taking the time to do damage control before making official statements. Even the conference was so well staged and organized and it does not take a rocket scientist to know that even the speeches made were pre-scripted, orchestrated or even coerced – in other words a wayang.

  11. Pingback: Daily SG: 13 Dec 2012 | The Singapore Daily

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